Category Archives: Time management

Hmmm. I must be getting old.

Admist the swirling maelstrom that has become my life in the last few months, I have had a few moments of peace. During those bits of time, I have composed maybe 6 essays in my head, outlined about half of a potential sermon, thought about a surefire entrepreneurial business strategy, and won some heated arguments against my own conceptions of the anti-me. At these little times in my life, I feel pretty brilliant. I feel blessed with wisdom. I feel spiritually gifted and inspired to share this “gift” with others and maybe try my hand at saving the world.

So I remembered that I haven’t posted a blog since maybe November? I thought, during one of these times of stillness, “well now I have plenty of ideas, all laid out neatly. I just need to sit and write them down.”

Well, here I am sitting and writing….but not remember what it was that I intended to sit and write! I don’t even remember half of the good ideas that I had during my quiet times of sitting in a waiting room, lying awake at night or in a long car ride.

Then I realized I’ve been forgetting a lot of things. I almost forgot my own birthday a couple weeks ago. Thankfully I have a husband who remembered for me. And I’ve forgotten some very simple things that seem quite foolish:

I almost left for work still wearing my slippers;

I was carrying a book, a glass, and a carton of grape juice. Intending to put down the book to pour the grape juice in the glass, I instead set down the glass and nearly poured grape juice all over my book;

I almost left my two month old son in the car, but still took his diaper bag, while about to enter the grocery store. I intended to leave the diaper bag, since it was a quick trip, and instead just take him.

I was perplexed on how to retrieve the power cord for my laptop since the large adapter part wouldn’t fit through the small slit between the desk and the wall. My esteemed colleague told me to just pull the small end of the cord down through the slit and take it out that way. Oh yeah…

And there are many more of these instances, probably more than 3 or 4 daily, that really make me look like a capable human being. Heh, in my observations of human behavior, if someone that was over 50 made these claims, they would just say “well, I’m getting old.” and shrug it off. But if I’m making these same bumbles, and I’m only freshly 27, do I not get to have an excuse? Uh-oh….this must be how I really am!

Oh well. That isn’t the point of this composition. Really, I sat down just to see if all these ideas would come back to me. Or perhaps I just needed a written record to document that I have had ideas, I just didn’t get them down in time.

Hopefully they’ll come back to me. If they really were going to help me save the world, I’m sure they’ll pop up again in another moment of sudden insight. At least, as long as I don’t descend into senility too rapidly.

My back hurts.

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One Track Mind

Usually this term is used to describe someone who is overly focused, and can’t seem to think about anything else but their subject of choice. Quite often it has a negative connotation.

Then, the other day, I was telling Van about my ineffective multi-tasking. (He made the mistake of asking me, “how are you doing,” forgetting that I answer honestly and fully, to a fault). I was venting about how I had about six things to do that day, and I was trying to do them all at once, but nothing was getting done because I kept switching between them and then would lose my focus and, though I felt tackling them all at once like that would get things done faster, was actually slowing myself down.

Van seems to have something for everything. “Ya know, isn’t that interesting how we’re wired that way? It’s like a failsafe. The verse in Psalm 119, “Thy word I hath hidden in my heart, so I won’t sin against Thee…” So if we’re always meditating on Scripture, we won’t sin against Him because we can really only think of one thing at a time.” So we discussed, over my cubicle wall, that even though the one-track-mind is making my multi-tasking nearly impossible, I can turn that very same dis-ability into an ability to keep my mind focused on the things of God. Sweet deal.

And it’s so true! That’s the only way I’ve kept myself in line. And the times I haven’t been in line lately, I have certainly not had prayer or other biblical principles on the brain.

And during this re-directing of my mind, I have found another very favorite chunk of verses: Colossians 3: 1-17. For the purpose of this point, I will highlight the way these verses correlate with the Psalm 119 topic:

“Since, then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things…Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry… Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

And of course, the ever-so-applicable Philippians 4:8: “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Our minds are powerful weapons of control. Given as a gift from God, with free will and colorful, unique personalities…

…and just like any great Superpower, they can be used for good, or for evil.

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Things People Do that Don’t Make Any Sense

So I was on my way back to the office from grabbing lunch, and I was just crossing 56th street on Pine Lake. I was in the right lane and someone was slightly behind me in the left lane. I noticed my lane was about to give out and merge, so I clicked on my blinker and was going to wait for that car to pass me, but then I noticed it wasn’t going fast enough so I started to merge over left. As I started to do that, the car in the left lane then decided to speed up to pass me (barely) so I wouldn’t end up in front of them in the left lane. I was only miffed because I was already changing lanes and had to swerve back to avoid getting swiped, but otherwise, it didn’t waste me any time. I slowed down slightly to avoid hitting them, but nothing too significant. The other car, however, probably wasted some gas by flooring the  pedal to make sure that no one else could ever be in front of them, plus the light in front of us was yellow at that point so we’d have to stop and relinquish our speed boosts anyway (Oh, and there were absolutely no other cars on that road than us two, so no real gain in getting in front of me). So really, that didn’t make much sense.

The following day, I was on the way home from work and was first in line at the red light. The light turned green and I started slowly accelerating. The guy behind me didn’t think I was accelerating fast enough, so he made a big showy effort of swerving around me to continue his jackrabbit start. Then, about 30 seconds later, I changed lanes around him because I had cruise control on a higher top speed than he was going. So really, his quick start didn’t gain him anything. But this is the kicker. The next stoplight, since I passed him, I was in front again. At the turning of the green, the exact same thing happened. He thought I was starting too slow, so he steps on the gas and swerves around in front. Then 30 seconds later I leisurely pass him again. (Whether or not I was slightly over the speed limit is not the issue here. And it wasn’t more than 5 over anyway…) That driver’s actions didn’t make any sense, really.

And I’ll always remember my sighting of a BICYCLE with spinning rims. And before that it was a MINIVAN with spinning rims. Sheesh. I just ask…WHY?

Ok, the point here is not that I make sense and everyone else doesn’t. Though I try to make myself come out smelling like a rose in those two anecdotes, I know that’s not the case. I do way too many things that don’t make any sense. I’ve been both of those drivers before. I’ve bought “blingy” things that had no real value. I’ve hurried through things only to sit and wait. I’ve stressed and worried about things only to realize they weren’t that big of a deal and I could have figured that out if I’d have just put it in perspective. Tomorrow really does worry about itself. Things really will be ok, even if they aren’t for a bit. Oh look, I’m coming back around to Ecclesiastes again. It’s all vanity! Again, I’m so glad that the stuff that really matters is finding joy in your toil, enjoying what you’ve been given, and living in the moment. Here’s to now, and all the vain things I don’t have to worry about right now. They don’t make any sense, anyway.

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Mine! Mine mine mine!

I had a busy week. What else is new?

It was a week filled with deadlines and meetings, oh and I turned a year older. (I shall miss ol’ 25, it was such a nice number). Nothing was going as planned, the weather was terrible, I didn’t have time to get my own home in order, and after I finished one thing on one day, it was another thing for the next day to worry about.

But, I was (and still am) ok. Every night, as we succumbed to our fatigue and got in bed, the cats would jump up and try to find a settling spot. I would think about my messy house as I was about to turn off the lamp on the nightstand, but then another overwhelming thought took over: My house may be messy, but it’s mine. My life may be busy, but it’s mine. I’m glad I have a life and a house, with a great husband and cute kitties. I don’t think I’d want another house, another life, another job or another social circle because, well, it wouldn’t be mine.

My dad told me that “true joy is simply knowing that you’re right where you’re supposed to be.” That is why you can have joy in your life, even if you aren’t currently “happy” or in a good mood. I guess I’m glad that I can claim that joy.

Ecclesiastes is becoming a theme here. I didn’t plan it that way, but it keeps coming up. Whatever the case may be,  I’m glad that most of the things that get all the attention in this world are fleeting and “a chasing after the wind.” Because if they really did matter, then I’d have to care! In the long run, though sometimes I wish for some of the things labeled as “vanity,” I’d just rather sit back with what is “mine” and be glad that God gave it to me.

My next project for myself, however, will definitely be Matthew 6.

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Comin’ Back Around Again…

And not in a good way.

I had the Bible on my desk open to Ecclesiastes 4. I decided to read the first bit while adding the ever-important brown sugar to my oatmeal.

“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:

I saw the tears of the oppressed—

and they have no comforter;

power was on the side of their oppressors—

and they have no comforter….”

“…And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind….”

For a moment I thought Solomon had time traveled to last week and watched the 10 o clock news.

I am embarrassed at my haphazard following of the news. I listen to NPR on the way to work (so about 10 minutes worth) and occasionally read a Yahoo! News story from my homepage. I listen to random commentary from people who care. I get bits and pieces of what is really happening, so I can’t say that I have the most accurate picture of our world, our national economy, or our political situation. But you don’t have to be on top of every broadcast to gather that things are pretty terrible right now. Things aren’t fair. People’s lives are falling apart because of lost jobs or homes. People in other countries (as well as our own) are oppressed and being robbed of their freedom. Being told what to do, how to live, and risking deprivation if they choose otherwise.

I remember seeing a play during our office retreat last July in Boulder, CO: The Will Rogers Folly. It told the story of Will Rogers, and his ups and downs and career, right up until his tragic plane-crash death. Though the story of Will Rogers himself was interesting, the part that still sticks with me today was the quote of a radio broadcast he gave during the depression.

“The same amount of money exists even in this depression….the only the different is who’s pocket it’s in.” …. “There are thousands starving in the midst of full storehouses.”

He went on to explain more details, in that comical way of his, but that is the part I remember most. In fact, I think I cried right there in the theater. Simply because that is just such a sad thought. And I knew that we were right back in that same position these days.

“Oh Amy, we can’t sit and cry about every sad picture of humanity. Then we’d always be sobbing.” (The person I am quoting will remain nameless. This comment was not meant to be biting, but helpful)

The only way I can take in that piece of advice is by adding this. No, we can’t just sit and cry about how terrible things are. We have to take action. We have to find something to do about it, even if it’s something seemingly small. And we still have to feel the sorrow of things that aren’t right. (I hope the day never comes where I don’t cry for the sad state of things)

Sometimes I can’t help but weep just a bit when I am reminded about how utterly backwards and illogical most of the world has become, the obvious reasons why things are so bad, and that we haven’t even progressed from Solomon’s time of grievous observations. I guess Jesus sure was right when he said that “you will always have the poor with you” …

Thankfully I can also read something like this:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

In the meantime, though, I better get moving. Lots of toil to be done under the sun.

For anyone interested in some good reading about Will Rogers, I like this site: http://www.compedit.com/will_rogers.htm

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I Want Insomnia for my Birthday

Well, maybe not the unhealthy side effects. I get enough migraines and fuzzy focus just from being too busy. But, if I never slept, I could get so much done! Well, maybe I’d like to need, oh, three hours of sleep each night. Just enough to feel like I’ve zoned out, woken up, and am starting a new day.

But, since that is not the case, what remedy is there for the over-zealous? What to do when you’re knee-deep in tediosity, and it’s your own fault? I welcome book recommendations and Bible verses, or someone to sacrifice oneself as a pro-bono personal assistant.

Either way, it is amazing how effective it can be to stop for just about 5 minutes, close your eyes, say a prayer, read something inspirational (I’d recommend the Bible 🙂 ) Re-centering is necessary for pressing onward.

Anyway, as much as I hate having to sleep, it is amazing the process of renewal that takes place. Though there is debate on if we were created with a need for sleep or if that was a result of corruption after The Fall, we are still very efficient, potentially powerful machines. “Fearfully and wonderfully made” is far from an overstatement. To think of the things we live through, the junk we shovel into ourselves and the amount we push ourselves to do, that we can go to bed for 1/3 of a day and feel the joy that cometh in the morning. There is nothing like a good sleep.

Alas, though I wish I needed it not…

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Almost Famous

It was a nice little surprise to see our name in US News and World Report:

http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/baby-boomer-health/2009/02/20/10-health-habits-that-will-help-you-live-to-100.html?PageNr=2

Check out number 8.

Health is such a big topic right now. I myself am a subscriber to three health related magazines (Self, Fitness, and Natural Health. Though I might cancel Self or Fitness, because they are basically clones of each other and I only need one…) and it’s amazing how many different spins can be thrown on the same topic: diet and exercise. “Eat this….not that” or “Eat lots of Blueberries!” or “Remember the Artichokes!” Ya know what they are all basically saying? Eat a balanced diet and exercise daily. Granted it’s nice to be able to see different ideas for crafting your own diet and exercise plan that works for your life, but the simple tool for health has not changed. If we eat enough fruits and vegetables, articles won’t be needed to remind us that blueberries have antioxidants and that artichokes have beneficial phytochemicals (as do a lot of fruits and vegetables…) because we’ll already be including them, or similar items, in our meals plans already.

It’s nice to know that Adventists are still recognized as concerned with holistic, healthful living. Though diet and exercise is a HUGE part of health, we realize that spiritual connection with our Creator, time management, healthy relationships and time to relax are also key to being a whole, healthy person. Let’s make sure we keep that up, since in this health-crazed trend, people will be watching us. On that note, I think I will have a banana and take a five minute break.

Antioxidants to all, and to all a good day!

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